The reality of Super Eagles of Nigeria failure to qualify for 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is beginning to dawn on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
This follows a statement from Mohammed Sanusi, the general secretary of the NFF, that it is very painful watching the Nations cup without Nigeria.
Speaking to Vanguard on Monday, January 16, Sanusi disclosed that NFF has decided to put up plans that will ensure that Nigeria qualified for subsequent competitions, after reflecting on events that led to the failure to make it to AFCON 2017.
He said: “It is very painful watching the 2017 AFCON without Nigeria. Honestly the impact of our failure to qualify is being felt more now that the tournament has started. However, we have reflected on the sad reality and have started putting in place measures to ensure that it will not happen again."
According to Sanusu, one of the things the Amaju Pinnick led board did was the hiring of a technically sound coach; Gernot Rohr to handle Super Eagles.
PAY ATTENTION: Get the latest sports news on NAIJ Sports App
He said: “We have hired a sound technical adviser who acts like a real father to the players and other officials. In the matches we played under him we have continued to do well and that is why we are leading our group in the World Cup qualifier.”
Sanusi also downplayed the effect of Super Eagles players not playing at the AFCON ahead of their next round of the Russia 2018 World Cup, insisting that most of them are regular players in their respective clubs.
He said: “Our players may not be at the Nations Cup but they are not match rusty, they are fully engaged in their clubs. Each week we hear good news about the boys and I am proud Nigerians are happy about that.”
AFCON 2017 is currently on-going in Gabon despite Nigeria's absence.
The tournament in Gabon runs from January 14 to February 5.